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The Real Reason Rick Ness Didn't Want Mining Pros On His Gold Rush Crew

One thing becomes abundantly clear after watching even just a single episode of "Gold Rush" — this type of work isn't for the weak of heart. For as long as you're on the site, you're working long hours doing manual labor. You may have to repair machinery or install new equipment because, at the end of the day, you're only bringing home a percentage of the amount of gold you find. Every second counts, so there's no time to dilly-dally.

That's what makes it interesting when the crew leaders bring people on board who don't necessarily have a ton of experience in the mining field. That was the case recently when Parker Schnabel hired Tatiana Costa. Schnabel was forced to hire inexperienced miners due to shortages resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. With the proper training and mindset, anyone can be an asset to the team, which Rick Ness knows all too well. His team frequently consists of inexperienced friends from back home, and he's spoken about why he prefers having his buddies out on the mine with him.

Rick Ness hires people he wants to spend time with

Rick Ness doesn't just hire anybody to work in the field with him. He tends to hire his friends from back home, which wouldn't necessarily be strange if they were also miners, but they often aren't. Ness has spoken at length about why he opts for hiring his friends in various interviews, including one with the BUILD series. When asked about why he hires his friends from Wisconsin, Ness responded, "At the end of the day, I could've built a crew of people that knew what they were doing — probably would've been a smart decision on my half — but, I didn't want to share that with strangers. I wanted to bring my friends with me, you know? Was it the right decision? Well, we'll see."

It may sound like fun and games going to work with your friends, but ultimately, these guys have a job to do. And if they don't find gold, they don't make any money. As a result, it can't all be fun and games. In an interview with Entrepreneur, Ness was asked about the difficulties of transitioning from a friend to a boss. He answered, "You know, sometimes I think it would be so much easier if it were just some guys I didn't know as friends. But you do live in with them as well — it's not like you send them home at the end of the day — so I'd rather be with my buddies. I'm not much of a yeller. I was as a kid but outgrew that."

It makes sense. It's stressful on a mining site, and having your friends readily available is bound to help with morale. And seeing how he's seen reasonable success mining gold the last few seasons, it's clearly working in his favor.